Xerox was first known as the Haloid Company before changing the name to that of its most famous product. Founded in the year 1906 in New York, The Haloid Photographic Company majorly dealt in the manufacture of photographic equipment and paper. Chester Carlson had earlier invented a process where images would be printed with an electrically charged metal plate and toner made from dry powder. However, it took 20 years of refinement before commercializing the first copy-making machine. The machine used a rotating drum, a scanning light, and a document feeder.
Joseph Wilson is known to have founded Xerox, having taken over Haloid from his father. Wilson saw the potential of Carlson’s invention and agreed, in 1946, to develop it into a commercial product. At Xerox, Wilson served as the CEO and President until 1967. He then served as the company’s Chairman until 1971 when he died.
To differentiate the new company from the old one, Wilson came up with the term xerography, which can be translated to “dry writing” in Greek. In 1958, Wilson changed Haloid’s name to Haloid Xerox, and later, in 1961, to Xerox Corporation.
Before Xerox released the 914, it introduced an advanced version of the hand-operated equipment that it christened Flat-plate 1385. It turned out that 1385 wasn’t viable as a copier because it wasn’t fast enough. Consequently, 1385 was sold as a plate maker for Addressograph-Multigraph 1250 as a sheet-fed offset printing press.
After 1385 came the first ever automatic xerographic printer in 1955. It was known as the Copyflo and was a big microfilm printer that was capable of producing positive prints from microfilm negative on roll paper. After the Copyflo came to the 1824 microfilm printer that greatly scaled down the process. At half the size of Copyflo, 1824 was sizeable enough to print onto cut-sheet, a hand-fed paper that was pulled through by one of the two gripper bars. This formed the basis of the desktop copier.